School mindfulness programme funded

Southern Cross, New Zealand’s leading independent health and wellness provider, has joined forces with the Pause Breathe Smile Trust and the Mental Health Foundation.

As a result, the nation’s own locally designed and internationally recognised schools’ mindfulness programme is being scaled up and will be open to all school children aged five to 12 from October.

Developed at the Mental Health Foundation, the Pause Breathe Smile programme was launched in 2013 and has reached around 380 schools and more than 65,000 children to date.

Southern Cross Chair Greg Gent said teaming up with Pause Breathe Smile was an opportunity to help build a healthier future for New Zealand children. “This programme equips children with the essential skills they need to help them navigate the ups and downs of everyday life.

Making a difference:

“Southern Cross has been looking for a way to make a tangible difference for New Zealand’s children for some time. We’re committed to helping to build a healthier future for all New Zealanders.”

The programme’s preventive approach and proven results made it an obvious choice, Gent said.

The Director of Mindfulness Training and Development for Pause Breathe Smile, Grant Rix, said the programme could now help thousands more children to build positive mind health.

"With Southern Cross on board, Pause Breathe Smile will be freely available to all primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand.

“That has been a long-term aspiration and to have Southern Cross helping to make a difference on such a large scale is incredible.”

Pause Breathe Smile provides professional learning and development for teachers who deliver the programme in their classrooms and incorporate its practices into their teaching.

Pause Breathe Smile with Southern Cross will be available free to any primary or intermediate school in New Zealand from October 2020.

For more information, see the Pause Breathe Smile website here.

For the full media release: click here.